Extinction Rebellion Autumn Uprising Continues

Last night the met police used a section 14 order banning all protests in relation to extinction rebellions autumn uprising.

Despite this, Extinction Rebellion planted a caravan outside of Mi5 on Millbank this morning. Two UK doctors glued themselves to the caravan in protests at the Government’s failure to act on air pollution. The police are on the scene en mass, and they are stopping and searching people entering the area.

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Eek, I’ve Started A Piece Of Photo-journalism, And I’m Very Excited

I have to say that I am experiencing that wonderful warm glow of having tried something new. Look, it was messy, I have no interview technique. Listening and hearing some while, whilst considering future questions is bloody hard work. I don’t know how people do it.

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But the point is, I’ve just done it. Extinction Rebellion are a group whom I believe in their sound, rational philosophy. If we don’t act now then it will be top late. Armed with my OMD EM 10 MK III and the Mzuiko 14-42 lens, I went to Trafalgar Square and have interviewed two people and taking their portraits. Over the next few days I will repeat the process, and then write up my report for The Sociological Mail

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The report will be written in the style of my photo-essay’s, but will also include quotes from those who I have interviewed. It’s the interviewing that gets me excited. It’s been a joy to interview Mike and Willy today.

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Photographically, photo-journalism has not been a genre that I’ve felt an affinity for, but I can see how it dances around with the kind of photography of which I’m passionate, but I can now see potential.

Coping With A Mental Health Crisis

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My mental health has taken a nose dive recently. I’m coming out of it now, but it’s been unbearable. If it wasn’t for the support of The Listening Place then I would have ended my life, I had plans to.

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This relapse has built up slowly over a few months, and it began with an increase in anxiety and paranoid thinking. Whenever I heard sounds or talking from nearby buildings I believed that the people in those homes were talking about me, and planning to kill me.

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It’s been so intense that I have been too afraid to stay in my home during the day, and I would go to bed and wake up full of anxiety. When I wasn’t experiencing paranoid thoughts I was thinking of how I could kill myself.

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I’ve been so exhausted by the anxiety, paranoia and suicidal thoughts, and this rose to a crescendo at the beggining of last week. I’m grateful that my friends, The Listening Place and the mental health crisis team have been there to support me.

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One of the most positive aspects is that I have been able to nurture myself. Not perhaps in the traditional sense, but it’s worked. I accepted that I could not stay in during the day, so I took myself out. I’ve been to so many places, Wood Green, Crouch End, Muswell Hill, Tottenham Hale, Walthamstow Wetlands, Stave Hill Eco Park, London Wetlands, Clapham, Hammersmith, Trafalgar Square. I also visited my cousin, and I’m going to stay with a friend shortly. My favourite trip was to Heathrow Airport. There’s an area of grassland near the south runway which is used by many to watch the aircraft come and go. I feel guilty for liking aircraft when I know how much damage they do to the environment, but I do like them, and the day relaxed me. I’ve also been meeting my daily calorific need and I’ve cut out caffeine.

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It hasn’t been easy to motivate myself, to be honest about how much I was struggling, and to seek support, but I’ve done it. I’ve also found that if I feel unsafe at home then I put wax earplugs in. They block the surrounding noise and that helps a lot. I’ve felt such an urgent need to leave home that I’ve barely done any washing, and no housework at all.

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But things are easing now. I’m still experiencing some paranoia, anxiety and suicidal thoughts, but the intensity has lessened. Life has been so painful, but I’ve created peace and calmness by going out to these places. Photography has been my bearer of peace. Thank goddess that it provides me with such an escape. I’m feeling very grateful, and you know what – I’m proud of how much effort I have put in to survive.

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The Listening Place is a London based charity which provides face to face support for people who feel that life is no longer worth living.

2,000 Followers Around London

I do experience bouts of intense paranoia, but I don’t believe that I have 2,000 people following me along the streets.

However, my blog now has over 2,000 followers, and for that I am most grateful. I like my blog, its a space for my photography, art and studies, and it is also an arena in which I share openly about my life. Sometimes deciding what to post and what to keep private can be quite challenging, especially when life is almost unbareable.

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But I get there, and I also share my joys and successes. I feel able to be open about my achievements and to share my strengths as well. I’ve learned that it’s important to speak just as much about the good things and the outcomes of which I’m proud of, as it is to share my challenges. Often in life we are told that it’s arrogant to say “I did that well” or “I’m good at this”. It’s not arrogant at all, speaking of our successes is good for our mental health. World class sports people publicly analyse their strengths and weaknesses, and I believe its the right thing for all of us to do. To do otherwise is to hold a hammer of shame over all that we are good at.

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This year has been a bit of a shit storm in some ways, with trying to end my life and its ongoing consequences, but it’s also had many positives for me. Moving to London, completing Foundations in Photography, starting the London Regional OCA group with B and H, and also meeting up with new people.

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My suicide attempt has taken a lot out of me, I still have many medical appointments to attend. I’ve also found it hard to go out with my camera due to exhaustion, anxiety, paranoia, medical appointments, and now I’m walking with a crutch (one of the pressure sore’s is not healing properly).

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But a big thanks to S.A who sent me a message yesterday to encourage me to go out with my camera. I did so today. I haven’t processed these as yet, so the photos in this post were taken on my Huawei P20 Pro.

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Thankyou all for following my blog, and supporting and engaging with me. Your support has helped so much recently. Love and hugs xxxx🌸🤗😘

Cognitive Disonence – Dancing City At The Greenwich Docklands International Festival

Wow, what a performance Dancing City put on.

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I hadn’t planned on seeing dancing City, I just wanted to take a trip to Canary Wharf with my camera and do some photography. It was a blessed relief to get out with my OMD EM 10 MK II and explore the docklands (these photos were taken on my Huawei P 20 Pro) . Dancing City were performing outside of the tube station so I stopped and had a look.

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Got to be honest, I didn’t think this was for me, but I have a friend who is a contemporary dancer so I sat down on the floor and figured I’d try and work out what was going on. The performers were dancing with objects that have a resemblance to the human form, so I figured they represented people. The dancing appeared to be sexual, passionate and suggestive at times, which threw me. What the hell is that about. I could understand it with people but not objects. Other aspects of the dancing seemed to be free form and uncoreogeaphed.

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I concerned relationship, specifically the kind of relationship where someone views the other as being something they are not. It’s hard to explain, but I’ve fallen in love with my partners potential, only seeing their best points, so I’m not in a relationship with the person who is really there, warts and all. Then I considered the dance portrayed psychosis and the interplay between heard voices, delusion and life.

It turns out that the performance was an exploration of modern day slavery.

The performance is worth considering in relation to my photography. Creating cognitive disonence, by including an object which is out of place, the viewer is left in a position where questions will arise. A viewer then becomes engaged with what they are gazing upon, and they may seek conciliation between the known and the abstract.

New Zealand Verses South Africa, And Other Points Of Interest

New Zealand against South Africa was a wonderful cricket match, and I had a great time with my friend P. I only took my phone with me as I am not ready to carry a big heavy bag around with me at the moment. Here are a couple of shots from the day, as well as one or two other recent points of interest.

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Photos As Research

I have been taking photos as I walk around London. These are part of my research for when I begin the degree in Photography with the Open College of the Arts.m. Square Mile is the first assignment. I’m considering shooting in The City and capturing the contrast between wealth and poverty.

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